Friday, November 5, 2010

The Flying Luttenbachers

"The title should be Greatest This or Greatest Shit or Greatest Hist. Or Greatest Sith or Greatest Isth or Greatest Htsi or Greatest Tish, not because THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS never had a hit  -- 'Pointed Stick' would qualify having been yell-requested by many an Azita Yousseffi-contemporary in beer-soaked conditions (despite their not knowing the title it was the one they wanted) --  but because they're not nearly pedestrian enough for such a generic title, particularly for this valuable NECESSARY retrospective (PROLE, prehaps, but NE'ER pedestrian).

In fact they are eponymous un-pedestrian; these LUTTENBACHERS are FLYING (no surplus of pyrotechnics would be sufficient to distract you from this obviation), vitriol and moxie is their means of staying airborne. THEIR INSTRUMENTS (duct taped, plastic, threadbare, sharpied, weathered, found, abused even before being performance-mangled and then tour-battered and further compromised by the classist conditions of the post-Reaganomics northern Midwest in which a certain bandleader had to fairly abscond with high school woodwinds to practice to THE DAMNED with only the most peripheral of faculty permissions) ARE THE TIGHTROPE. Idiom and physical performance ability is the void of bone-crushing space betwixt their vulnerable sarcoplasma and the antipathetic floor of the audience that must be vaulted at great personal risk when performing and that would be nightly most nights when they were engaged in one of their many storied tours both domestic and abroad.

Q: Anybody up for helming a bloodthirsty quintessentially punk jazz squadron of chain-gang record store escapees to plunder the creatively bankrupt wilds of central North America on the ass end of this century past?

A: (Crickets)

Q: NO?! Well, Weasel fucking Walter is up for it, YOU ANEMIC KNOW-NOTHING PUSH-BUTTON TWAT.
A: 'Weasel who?' you don't ask because you're obviously reading this (or rather reading this surreptitiously).

Q: 'YOU MISERABLE PRO-CHOICE-INVIGORATING TOILET-FEEDER,' I don't answer. Weasel Walter, the modern composer who inspired the like-titled ZAPPA album and who was plagiarized by said composer's synclavier work having preceded it with his own electronic BOULEZ-with-strychnine-poisoning modern-ensemble-simulacrum immortalized during his thorny I-don't-need-to-spoonfeed-the-special-olympics-of-no-wave-saturday-night-live-band-member-understudies-period when he really HAD HAD enough and decided to go it alone...I mean for the sake of regional franchises (BEEF-A-ROO), WEASEL HIMSELF can barely TEACH HIMSELF this disagreeably modern shit let alone some disenfranchised HATEWAVE fan with a cocaine hangover.

The lonely observers of his artistic arc agree: WE'RE SURPRISED it took him this fucking long to do so, so when he finally did complete THIS (one of at least several) MEISTERWERK, he exported it to the future and that monobrowed Californian A-rab got the kudos (you got any gas money before he returns to the present?).

Besides, what's the fuss anyhoo. We have all agreed to agree with THE WIRE magazine -- 'talent ain't in your throat or hands (I'm plagiarizing an '80s skin mag "article" called "ROCK HARD" here) it's between your legs' or in the case of THE WHY'ER fagazine, YOUR WALLET.

Short story long, Weasel's work is just that: WORK.

This is NOT valid entertainment (unless I can have some of that LSD I left in his freezer); this music is DISTRACTING.

It is obstinately rigorous, insists on being payed attention-to, betrays the details of labor-intensive studies, knows who itself is, expects quality to be celebrated, demands to be congratulated for being demanding and assumes that it will be liked just because it often kicks ass.

According to the stringently disinterested and disinteresting trustafarian effluvium so prevalent in these ersatz times, THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS are NOT worth reviewing, and when compared to the other acts which have their sartorial priorities wa-ay intact, they pale in comparison because they seem unembarrassed by their own caucasoid contours, testosteriffic formal trials and indefatigable commitment to KILLER ENERGY MUSIC that manifests both epicurean avidity to established musicological conglomerations and as-yet fuck-all-undefined futuristic ambitions.

Nah, better blow THE FLYING LUTTENBACHERS off.

Just writing this paltry puff piece I had to activate a somnambulant brain center or three and this band makes me feel weak.......wait......('buh ba-ba bum-Pa!')....EVERY FUCKING TRACK ON THIS BAD BOY IS ENERGIZING MY TORPID ASS."

~Nondor Nefuckingvai

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening pleasure, The Flying Luttenbachers.

Greatest Hits (ugEXPLODE/Pukekos)
1. Assault on Apathy
2. Pointed Stick 93-B
3. Cryptosporidium
4. Trauma 1
5. kkringg number one
6. Survivors Suite
7. The Void part four
8. Demonic Velocities/20,000,000 Volts
9. Elfmeros
10. Medley
11. Cataclysm
12. Rise of the Iridescent Behemoth (excerpt)
13. The Holy Mountain

The Flying Luttenbachers
Greatest Hits
c + p ugEXPLODE Records 2010

1. "Assault on Apathy"
from Incarceration By Abstraction (ugEXPLODE) 2007
Weasel Walter - all instruments

2. "Pointed Stick 93-B"
from Constructive Destruction (Quinnah/ugEXPLODE) 2004
Weasel Walter - drums, Chad Organ and Ken Vandermark - tenor saxophones, Jeb Bishop - bass guitar, Dylan Posa - guitar

3. "Cryptosporidium" (Walter/Falzone/Pisarri)
from Gods of Chaos (Skin Graft/ugEXPLODE) 1997
Weasel Walter - drums, saxophone, Chuck Falzone - guitar, William Pisarri - bass guitar

4. "Trauma 1" (Walter/Colligan/Johnson)
from Trauma (ugEXPLODE) 2001
Weasel Walter - drums, Michael Colligan - tenor saxophone, Kurt Johnson - double bass

5. "kkringg number one"
from Spectral Warrior Mythos Vol. 1 (ugEXPLODE) 2005
Weasel Walter - drums, Mick Barr - guitar, Ed Rodriguez - bass guitar

6. "Survivors Suite" (Keith Jarrett)
from Live at WNUR 2-6-92 (Coat-Tail/ugEXPLODE) 1992
Weasel Walter - drums, Hal Russell and Chad Organ - tenor saxophones

7. "The Void part four"
from The Void (ugEXPLODE/Troubleman Unlimited) 2004
Weasel Walter - drums, Ed Rodriguez - guitar, Mike Green - bass guitar

8. "Demonic Velocities/20,000,000 Volts"
from Destroy All Music Revisited (Skin Graft/ugEXPLODE) 1995

9. "Elfmeros" (Alex Perkolup)
from Infection and Decline (ugEXPLODE/Troubleman Unlimited) 2002
Weasel Walter - drums, Alex Perkolup - bass guitar, guitar, Jonathan Hischke - piccolo bass

10. "Medley"
from "...the truth is a fucking lie..." (ugEXPLODE/Skin Graft) 1999
Weasel Walter - drums, Chuck Falzone - guitar, William Pisarri - bass guitar

11. "Cataclysm" (Walter/Rodriguez)
from Cataclysm (ugEXPLODE) 2006
Weasel Walter - drums, guitar, electronics, Ed Rodriguez - guitar, Mick Barr - guitar, Mike Green - bass guitar

12. "Rise of the Iridescent Behemoth (excerpt)"
from Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder (ugEXPLODE/Troubleman Unlimited) 2003
Weasel Walter - all instruments

13. "The Holy Mountain"
from Revenge (Skin Graft/ugEXPLODE) 1996
Weasel Walter - drums, saxophone, clarinet, Chuck Falzone - guitar, William Pisarri - bass guitar

assembled and mastered on oct. 31, 2010 by weasel walter for

all titles composed by Weasel Walter, Sedition Dog Music (BMI) except where noted

1. "Assault on Apathy"

The lead-off track from the final, solo Luttenbachers album, released in 2007. Most of the songs on this album were composed and intended to be performed by Mick Barr and Ed Rodriguez, but by the time the live unit (then feat. Ed, the excellent Rob Pumpelly on guitar and fill-in bassist Tony Dryer) played its final show on Nov. 1st, 2006, this vision would not come to pass. Instead, I set about recording all the songs by myself. At the time I thought I could continue the group, but Incarceration By Abstraction would turn out to be an epitaph. In my mind, the creative possibilities of the Luttenbachers project were far from finished, but the financial and psychic realities of trying to realize complex, rehearsal-intensive music in this era turned out to be an impasse I no longer wanted to fight. What I've left behind is a sonic manifesto: a true assault on apathy.

2. "Pointed Stick 93-B"

A crowd pleaser from the second full-length Luttenbachers release, recorded in late 1993. Some people have sporadically joked that this was the line-up of the group "girls liked." My writing wasn't terribly sophisticated at this early stage, but i was doing the best I could to mate punk energy, proggish riffs and free jazz skronk. The goal was to get out there in the scene and do something different. At the time this sort of punk/jazz fusion was still novel. People were psyched about it, for what it's worth. The original pressing was an LP in an edition of 500 copies. Apparently 200 of them burnt in a fire at the plant, so there are probably less than 300 total in circulation. The covers were hand-assembled by the band and the front plate of each has some unique phrase written under it by myself. I suppose you'd have to destroy your copy to find out what it says!

3. "Cryptosporidium"

The Gods of Chaos album was released in 1997 and it was the most ambitious and complicated group production in the history of the band. Although this track is rather straight-ahead in approach, the rest of the album was a true overdub and mixing nightmare of epic proportions, back when everything had to be manually patched, muted, un-muted, faded, etc. live on the fly. We spent a pretty good amount of time in a cold, empty Chicago loft studio during the dead of winter, freezing our butts off, trying to get this concept album about the destruction of humanity finished. I was also mixing the Lake Of Dracula debut in the same studio at the time . . . At it's core, "Cryptosporidium" simply mated Captain Beefheart with De Mysteriis-era Mayhem (when Gorguts' legendary Obscura album came out a year later and took this kind of ridiculous approach to an amazing new plateau, we definitely felt like we were onto something).

4. "Trauma 1"

After the Revenge trio broke up following a European tour in early 1998, I spent a good amount of time experimenting with different combinations of a small pool of players before deciding to concentrate on a heavily free-jazz informed approach. The stripped down trio of myself on drums (sans snare!), Michael Colligan (a previous member of seminal Chicago group Math feat. Mr. Quintron) on reeds and Kurt Johnson (who also played electric bass in the band Lozenge) on double bass worked very hard on developing a cohesive group sound, utilizing sudden visual cues and intensely discussing aesthetic do's-and-don'ts. Trauma was our sole studio effort, a massive outpouring of searing intensity, released originally as a double lp in 2001. Todd Rittmann (U.S. Maple) and Rob Wilkus graciously helped us capture what we were trying to achieve with the utmost clarity, engineering the session in the front room of Michael's former venue/home 6 ODUM.

5. "kkringg number one"

2005 was a difficult year for the group, mostly due to constant line-up fluctuations and having to relearn or rearrange all this complicated material numerous times with different people as a result. In late 2004, Mick Barr had joined the band on second guitar, so we spent much of that winter learning new material. The powerful new quartet debuted in February 2005, playing a few West Coast shows before the three of us (without Mick) embarked on a previously booked European tour in March 2005. When we returned we prepared for the Cataclysm album recording in July 2005. In the meantime, Mike Green basically decided that he didn't have time to rehearse and play in the live band for a while, which left us to re-configure as another kind of trio (me, Mick and Ed Rodriguez). Between June and December of that year we played only a few West Coast gigs in this formation before Mick left San Francisco to return back to the East Coast. Whew. You following this? Before he left, we jammed out the Spectral Warrior Mythos EP in the practice space for fun and released it as a CD-R on the ugEXPLODE website. This track is a version of the song from the solo Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder album with actual humans playing together.

6. "Survivors Suite"

This was the first public appearance of the Flying Luttenbachers. The group started officially in late 1991, and we got this radio show gig in Feb. 1992. At the beginning we were an acoustic free jazz trio featuring two horn players and myself on drums. The music was very wild and humorous. We played a bunch of Albert Ayler covers as well as some simplistic original material. This stuff is definitely very raw on every level, but there's a carefree sense of fun which makes it enjoyable to listen to (in light of the preposterous levels of bleak obtuseness the band continually rose to afterwards). This music was first released on cassette in 1992, before being reissued on CD in 1996. The master was taped on a boombox directly from the original FM broadcast! Those were different times. I was 19 years old and totally full of shit.

7. "The Void part four"

A powerful Black Metal-tinged track from our 2004 album/suite The Void. The main riff was originally conceived for a fucked-up glam-rock unit I played in during the mid-90s (the group was Vanilla, with myself under the nom de plume "Johnny Holocaust") and it was inspired by certain inappropriately creepy guitar breaks in Olivia Newton-John and Linda Ronstadt songs from the '70s. The entire album The Void was based on a very small amount of motivic material, reiterated and transformed throughout the whole thing. Most people didn't even notice. Too bad for them. At the time I was very influenced by Bartok, Stravinsky and Messiaen, and how they manipulated their ideas with very deliberate intelligence and resourcefulness. Sure, you can just write a shitload of material, but can you take just a few chords and make it into a whole album? Well, we did and it worked rather well.

8. "Demonic Velocities/20,000,000 Volts"

The opening ripper from the third Luttenbachers full-length released in 1995. The opening and closing theme is an allusion to "Shout at The Devil" by Mötley Crüe (at the time I was simultaneously playing Nikki Sixx in a Crüe tribute called "2 Fast 4 Love") and the middle section is a vamp in 5/4 that has haunted me (and popped up regularly in my music) since 1988. Destroy All Music was originally released on LP in 1995 by Elevated Chimp Records, before being reissued in 1998 on CD by Skin Graft. A totally remastered version with bonus tracks and improved artwork (Destroy All Music Revisited) dropped a few years ago, and I consider that version the definitive one of the lot.

9. "Elfmeros"

An excellent composition by our then fretless "earth" bassist Alex Perkolup, "Elfmeros" is one of the gnarliest, most relentless compositions the live band ever pulled off, heavily influenced by Magma and the Zeuhl aesthetic, but charged with ass-kicking Death/Grind heaviness and dissonance. Later this winter, there will be a remastered version of this album (Infection and Decline) featuring some great, previously unheard live tracks and a desperately needed remastering (compare this version with the ultra-tinny original and you'll know what I'm talking about). Alex went on to play with Bobby Conn, Lovely Little Girls and Cheer-Accident and the "air bassist" (he played a bass with guitar strings on it) Jonathan Hischke went on to play with Broken Bells, the full-group version of Hella, Marnie Stern, Bobby Conn and a million others.

10. "Medley"

During the January 1998 European tour we were regularly performing this bombastic medley of early Luttenbachers compositions. This version was recorded live in Hamburg and was released on "...the truth was a fucking lie..." LP in 1999.

11. "Cataclysm"

A gnarly piece of music I wrote using several unique, thorny riffs supplied to me by guitarist Ed Rodriguez as the basic material. I first saw Ed shredding the fuck out of his guitar during the mid-90s with Colossamite and Gorge Trio, before asking him to join the band at a 2002 show in Minneapolis. He moved out to the Bay Area soon after I did in early 2003 and we started a new Luttenbachers line-up that fall. Originally this formation (with Burmese bassist Mike Green) covered the entire 1996 Revenge album in order! It was just for something to do, just to get it up and running, before we figured out what direction the new material was heading in. Well, over the next three years, the material got more and more complex... This song was definitely on the higher level of what the live band was doing towards the end. I'm proud of it. Ed and I also played in XBXRX together for several years before he finally wound up playing in Deerhoof.

12. "Rise of the Iridescent Behemoth (excerpt)"

About half of this monstrous long-form composition from the 2003 Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder solo album. The Infection band with Alex and Jonathan wound down in fall 2002 and I wound up touring for the rest of the year by myself in a rental car with a few amps, a bass, saxophone, sampler, smoke machine and strobe lights. I definitely felt like there were some loose ends that I needed to tie up compositionally, so I also began the intense process of finishing this totally insane one-man Luttenbachers album alone in my bedroom. "Behemoth" is basically three years of work coming to a head. I can't even begin to estimate how many hours that piece took to compose. People often ask me if it will be played live and I usually say: "Sure, as soon as someone will pay me to put a band together to learn it!" With the advent of gravity blast drum techniques, etc. this music is totally doable, but would be definitely extremely difficult.

13. "The Holy Mountain"

A piece written in late 1995 after Bill Pisarri blew my mind by showing me Alejandro Jodorowsky's classic flick. The funereal end track to the otherwise skronk-obsessed Revenge album from 1996, this composition has a place in my black heart - it is simplistic but sophisticated, unique but primordial in nature. Jim O'Rourke always liked this one too, and he has pretty good taste, so I definitely take that as a big compliment. We were really crazy at that point, so everything on the album was mixed in this totally bizarre, unnatural way. Those were different times.


ww - 10.31.10

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